JEFF King has fired out a friendly warning to his old team-mates at Wanderers as they head towards St Mirren today.

The 22-year-old has added a touch of extra spice to this afternoon’s match by admitting he is out to show Phil Parkinson he was wrong to release him at the Macron Stadium last month.

King made only a handful of appearances for Bolton last season but was a major part of the development squad’s title success.

He has now found a home in Paisley, signing a two-year deal with the Scottish Premiership new boys.

And though Parkinson’s team may be looking to ease themselves into action in their first outing of the summer, King has personal motivation to put in an impressive performance.

“I have definitely got a point to prove,” he told The Bolton News. “No disrespect to Bolton but I feel like I should have played more games. Maybe the timing wasn’t right.

“People were bigging the likes of me and Connor Hall up last season but we haven’t done a thing. We haven’t had the games.

“I hope Connor gets his chance this season because he deserves it. From my point of view I want people to be saying at the end of the season ‘maybe we were wrong to let him go, maybe he should have had his chance.’”

King would have made an earlier debut for Bolton had the EFL embargo restrictions not prevented Parkinson from registering him as a first team player. He did get his chance, eventually, but the youngster felt disappointed he did not get more time to prove himself.

“I played at West Ham, which was a great experience,” he said. “But from the club’s perspective it was ‘win and it’s a bonus’ and then I played at Bristol City but Fil Morais got sent off after about 40 minutes and it didn’t help.

“I felt like I needed a run at that point, or even a game at home, but it didn’t arrive.”

King is excited by the prospect of playing football in front of big crowds at Celtic Park, Ibrox, Easter Road, Tynecastle and Pittodrie in a league which has been given a bit more star power with the arrival of Steven Gerrard as Rangers boss.

“I don’t think people respect Scottish football as much as they should,” he said. “Lads here who have played in the Championship say it’s just as hard.

“I think Gerrard coming into Rangers and signing the players he’s done will make it really competitive this year.”

King was recommended to ex-Wanderers star Alan Stubbs by Tony Kelly, the ex-Burnden Park playmaker who spotted the midfielder playing Sunday League football in Huyton.

Stubbs is looking to put his own stamp on a Buddies side who romped into the Premiership last season under Jack Ross – who subsequently left for Sunderland in the summer.

King feels he made the right choice coming north of the border, even if he came home from the club’s La Manga training camp nursing a few extra bruises.

“Normally I’m used to dishing out the kicks in training but I’ve been getting the kicks up here, so I want to come home,” he laughed.

“The whole place is just really positive. At Bolton, even when we’d been promoted, everyone was so uncertain about what staff were staying, which ones were going.

“Here, I feel like I can play without that pressure.

“The gaffer has been really good. He reminds me a bit of David Lee and Tony Kelly, a bit old school.

“He’ll tell you straight if you’re not doing something right but also have a good laugh and a joke when the time is right. With him playing for Everton – my club – he’s alright by me, anyway.”

Which brings us around to King’s quick reunion with Bolton, and coming up against the players with whom he shared a dressing room just a few short months ago.

“It’s a bit weird,” he said. “Obviously it’s nice to see people again and I’m looking forward to the game. It’s pre-season and so it’s all about game time but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to get a couple of goals or assists. I do want to show people I’ve made my own path.

“It’s our first competitive fixture in a week so we’re a bit further down the line than Bolton in preparations. We need to be switched on and I think it’ll be a tasty game.

“On top of that, it’s England v Scotland, so the fans will want to see us get a result. Then maybe I can find a TV to watch England win in the World Cup to make up for it.”

* This article was written before Wanderers players refused to play in the St Mirren friendly over unpaid bonuses and wages.